My next trip to Romania was a 10 day trip to firstly the Transylvania region, in particular Bran and its surrounding area, in the centre of the country. I then moved on to Romania’s capital city Bucharest to again attend a conference for the second 5 days.
I arrived at Bucharest and got a taxi to the city centre, Bucharest is much more imposing and busier than Timisoara in the west. That said, since there are lot more people, the range of people from different backgrounds and so on is much wider. So whilst travelling in the taxi to the hotel the annual colour run was taking place, unfortunately for me this meant that I was in a taxi a lot longer than anticipated, however it was great to see so many people taking art and enjoying themselves. Still the taxi journey from the Bucharest Otopeni Airport to the the Ibis Parliament House cost just over 30 Lei (roughly €7).
After checking into the hotel and checking out the view there was a chance to meet up with a number of my colleagues who would be travelling to Transylvania with we had a meal at Hanul lui Manuc. This particular venue is interesting and unique since it was once the site of a famous coaching inn and was the site of the preliminary talks for the Treaty of Bucharest and the architecture really has some character.
The following morning it was possible to see the view and of course the striking Bran Castle for the first time. This fortress built in 1211 has been used for defence, as a resting point and also as a royal summer residence. It inspired Bram Stoker to write the Dracula stories and has many elements from the story inside, but it is quite safe without garlic as we visited during the day, I’ve noticed no side effects, yet!
Whilst in Bran we visited Brasov, surrounded by a city wall and the Southern Carpathians famous for the Black church, and a very cliche Hollywood style sign. Whilst in the area we also visited Rasnov and its historical medieval citadel, which is well preserved, perched on the high on top of a hill, surrounded by sheer drops offering fantastic views of the surrounding plains, contrasting with the mountains which we briefly visited on the way back to camp.
We were then on the road back to Bucharest. On route we stopped at the spectacular Peles castle. A royal castle with living in mind rather than a fortress like Rasnov’s after a short visit and tour we continued our journey back to Bucharest through the valleys before arriving late in the evening.
During the conference in Bucharest we got very familiar with a certain night club Fratelli in the north of the city. But whilst we were in the city there was plenty of time to experience cuisine at Caru’ cu bere (like a church inside with music and traditional dancing) and Lacrimi și Sfinți, freshly cooked food. There was a chance to look at the many museums on offer and a chance to look at the Muzeul Satului park with its historical village. In the final evening a gala dinner took place inside the Palace of the Parliament.
On the final day I visited the Palace of the Parliament again to tour this opulent immense unfinishing building, contrast it with the streets outside and in the evening Berăria H to relax before leaving the following morning.
So what did I enjoy this time around. Again I met many friendly people willing to go that extra mile. It was good to life and see people going about their day to day business outside of the cities and contrast life within Bucharest and again within Bucharest itself. There are plenty of experiences on offer in Romania, different scenery and a culture to explore, in the winter season the ski resorts around Brasov will be busy I’m sure. I have yet to explore northern Transylvania and the east of the country.